International Youth Day 2021: Transforming Food Systems for Peace

A screenshot of the IYD 2021 Zoom forum

Religious peace organizations convened a virtual regional forum on 12th August to commemorate the International Youth Day (IYD) 2021 under the theme on “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovations”.

Using a localised theme on “Celebrating Youth Champions” the forum drew the participation of the youth from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan.The youth delved into discussions around the engagement of young people in Agriculture and the need to make the venture more attractive to them.

Select youth champions who spoke during the event also gave their experience as regards to their involvement in Agriculture and the role of gender interventions in food security. Speaker after speaker, they urged fellow youth to carefully venture into sustainable Agriculture through research, resilience, hard work and adopting best practices.

Ms Lilian Nakal, a youth from South Sudan, painted a picture of the correlation between hunger and Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country. She observed that as a result of constant conflicts, food insecurity/ hunger has continued to rise. “A hungry man in an angry man”, she noted.

The religious organizations which included; the Arigatou International, Africa Council of Religious Leaders (ACRL), Fellowship of Christian Council and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA) and International Centre for Peace, Human Rights and Development in Africa (IPHRD-Africa) also challenged the youth to ignore the notion that Agriculture is a preserve of the old people. They noted that through innovations, the youth can greatly contribute to the transformation of food systems thus addressing food insecurity and consequently leading to peaceful coexistence.

The IYD was designated by the United Nations in 1999 and first observed on 12th August 2000 with an aim of drawing attention to issues around the youth.

IYD 2021 live stream: